13 September 2014

Here. Hold My Earrings.

For some reason, you think I'm an awful person. I don't know why. I have no clue what I have done to either of you to warrant such vitriol. I don't know what in the world I did to deserve those nasty words and emotions from you. You wrongly accused me of censorship, of being like a "godfather," of taking away your ability to communicate with your family, of going behind my husband's back to tear your family apart.

It's like the last nineteen years never even happened, that I was never a member of this family, and that I'm an interloper who doesn't deserve to be here. That May, 1995, wedding for which one of you helped excitedly organize? I guess that never happened. All those shared laughs at Christmas? Thanksgiving? Nada.

I helped with your son's wedding. I went to your children's high school band performances. I came to graduations, engagement parties, wedding showers, baby showers. I hugged and kissed you and supported you and loved on your children and grandchildren. I have given your step-daughter an ear to bend because we get each other and I love your husband because I see my husband in him and know that's where he gets his gentleness, his kindness. I have never asked for anything in return, just expecting your support when, and if, it is ever needed. I have loved all of you, unconditionally, because you're all my family.

But, I guess none of that matters to you. It certainly has to me. You must think me such a silly little rabbit.

Since yesterday morning, I've sat. And stewed. And cried. And stared, unbelieving, at the computer screen, wondering where all this cattiness came from. I sat in the passenger seat of my minivan, on a nine-hour road trip to Florida today, feigning sleep, but really just going over everything in my mind. My eyes were closed, yet I quietly cried on my pillow. You both hurt me that much.

You made sure to apologize to my husband for spamming the entire family with that offensive, prejudiced, fear-mongering email. But, let's remember, you apologized for sending the email, not apologized for actually believing that nasty tripe that helps perpetuate fear of Muslim-Americans. You also made sure to apologize to another family member only after they apologized to you for calling you out on it. Wow. Really? You forgave her for being a stand-up person and letting you know when you've overstepped that line? How gracious and generous of you. But, here's the thing. You didn't apologize to me for those hateful, unjustified words you casually threw at me.

It is because of both my husband and I that all of you enjoyed an on-line web site for eleven years, an on-line group that made it easy for you to communicate with your family, an on-line email that one of you abused, constantly, and the other allowed said abuse to pass with nary a whisper. So, I guess me standing up against the uneducated, spammy crap you continued to send is what got me in trouble. OK. As Winston Churchill once said, "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." But, what gets me, is that my husband and I had both previously stated, "Keep up this abuse of the on-line group, and we'll delete it. That's not what this is for." And you kept on. And then, when we made good on our promise, you lost your shit. I NEVER censored you. Do you know the meaning of the word "censorship?" Let's pull out the dictionary, shall we, and correct your uninformed vocabulary:

Censorship is defined as the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other such entities.

I NEVER censored you. I gave you multiple chances to come to your senses and use self-control when sending out offensive emails. But, you never did. I'm not taking away your email, I'm not shutting off your phone, I'm not taking away your access to any form of communication. I'm just giving everyone in the family the option to block you and your spam without having to block the rest of the family. I'm making it more difficult for you to do what you've been doing. This isn't censorship, it's self-preservation of my damned sanity.

But the worst? The absolute worst part of all of this? Was when the other one of you sent my husband a Facebook message, speaking of his warm heart (Which implies that mine is cold?) and how he would have never allowed this closing of the family's on-line web group to happen, how he needed to stop me, and that what I had done was horribly wrong.

Really? Really. This was done after 48 hours of BOTH of us agonizing over this. And you? Sending that Facebook message? Was essentially you trying to come between us, to drive a wedge in our 19-year marriage, whisper in the ear of one to put a black mark against the other. My husband and I have known each other since 1988. Twenty-six years. We've lived through infertility, my clinical depression from the death of my father and uncle, postpartum anxiety, downturns in the family business, serious illness, all of it. I'm going to say this once and you need to remember it.


And only death will end that team. Not you or anyone else. When you sent that Facebook message, you actually caused the complete opposite to happen. It made us stronger and allowed us to truly see who you are.

Rather than remain quiet, I decided to defend myself here, in my little section of the Blogverse. I'm going to continue to call attention to the crap you think is acceptable and I won't allow you to insinuate yourself in my marriage ever again. Don't expect me to come to your rescue or welcome you with open arms. Instead, you should expect suspicion, chilly cordiality, and a smile that never reaches my eyes. I forgive YOU because I have to move on, but I will certainly never forget.

I've blocked you both on social media. That will never change. I've blocked both your email addresses. If there's important news you need to get to me then I suggest you try AirMail. I hear it's pretty speedy. Will you actually see this post? I have no idea. But it has served it's purpose. It has allowed me to put out to the world that I will no longer tolerate further bullshit from either of you.



sybil law said...

Good for you!! There's enough bigotry and pettiness in the world without having to deal with it from a family member who was given many warnings to stop. The FB message may have been a blessing in disguise because it shone a spotlight on their manipulative, vindictive bullshit, and finally - it brought you and Ty even closer. I'm sorry someone (family, at that!) treated you so badly, but I'm proud to know you stood up to someone for what is right and good. You are freaking awesome. XOXO

sybil law said...

P.S. I cannot possibly hold your earrings when my hands will be full with bitchslapping someone's face. :)

Melissa said...

(stands and slowly applauds)

Suzanne said...

I'd love to say this to my MIL some days! So glad you stood up for your family and marriage, because they are the most important. You're my hero.

Dave2 said...

Life is too short. You do what you have to do.

Unknown said...

You are awesome!

Patois42 said...

You've just reinforced my belief that you are an amazing woman. Bravo!

Yvonne (DB) said...

I know what you are going through. It happened to me with my family in law when I was married and to say it sucks is the understatement of the century. Just know we all love you and know the great person that you are! Big hugs smooches lots of love! xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Heather, I stand with you on this. I wish I could be as brave as you. Love, your MIL

hello haha narf said...

you and ty truly are a great team.

Riverpoet said...

You? RAWK!

I've had to put relatives (mostly on Paul's side) in their places. Oh my God, have I ever. Thankfully, with Margaret, her siblings don't meddle in our life together. Biological family can sometimes be the most harsh.

Love you! D